Computer Science Grant benefits Iowa kids, teachers

Iowa’s nine Area Education Agencies have received computer science grant funding from the Iowa Department of Education that will provide close to $1 million in computer science professional development and impact nearly 850 educators this summer. The grant will be used to pay for the professional learning opportunity, and it also provides a stipend for teachers who participate in that professional development. At the elementary level, the curriculum and professional learning opportunities include:
  • BootUp
  • CS Fundamentals & Deep Dive 
  • Computer Science micro-credentials asynchronous learning
  • AEA Learning Online CS Standards asynchronous modules
At the secondary level, the curriculum and professional learning opportunities include:
  • CS Discoveries (6-8 grades)
  • CS Principles  (9-12 grades) 
  • CSA (Java) (9-12 grades)
  • Carnegie Mellon CS Academy (Python) (6-12 grades)
  • AEA Learning Online Computer Science Standards asynchronous modules (6-12 grades)
The grant will also fund the purchase of necessary equipment associated with the BootUp grant. Fifty+ teachers (kindergarten-grade 2)  will receive two "Hives" of six Bee-Bots  (12 total), and 50 teachers (grades 3-5) will receive 15 Micro:bits 2.0 to support the implementation of BootUp curriculum in their classrooms. Last year, Iowa’s AEAs were awarded almost $500,000 that supported 6-12 Computer Science professional development for teachers. (That equates to roughly $1.5 million dollars in grants the past two years dedicated to expanding computer science instruction in K-12 schools across Iowa.) “This year, we added some “next level” opportunities for those districts who were ready to move beyond the "beginner" level of implementation,” said Julie Graber, Computer Science contact for Prairie Lakes AEA. “While the AEAs receive the grant funding, it’s truly the educators and schools who benefit.“ By working collaboratively as Iowa’s AEAs, we can offer all Iowa students and teachers access to the same, high-quality resources and learning.” For Prairie Lakes AEA, this will directly benefit 21 schools who indicated interest and signed up to participate in opportunities outlined in the grant.